Sabre DAC inside?
Windows driver support DSD?
DoP, Native ?
well implemented digital can sound very nice. It is a question of the system and how various pieces work together.
This DAC does look nice though. I really don't like manufacturers producing a 5 k dac with HP outs. I would venture that most people buying this DAC will very likely already have good amps, so you are just paying extra for these features. I would prefer them invest in better DAC section or not charge for HP outs. That's just me though. I know some may like the HP out.
The HP out is good enough for the majority of headphones (at least in the low end Silver model); but becomes constrained when trying to drive low Ω (below 40Ω) headphones in general, and earphones in particular. I'd put it ahead of most integrated headphone outputs, though, as you say, it isn't on par with dedicated headphone amps.
The outputs on these DACs is very good and there are myriad ways to connect up anything you own. Plugging your favourite headphone amp into it is great idea.
I was pretty impressed with the Zodiac+ model which I owned for a few years. Excellent digital section but the analogue & especially the PSU section fell behind imo. Looks like they have upgraded the analogue (& of course the digital) so with the Voltikus or an aftermarket variant, it could be a very nice little DAC. I wouldn't go for it personally as it is too much $$ for me - especially considering the DAC's coming out today eg femto clock Auralic Vega, even the Yulong DA8....
It's primarily a DAC, not a headphone amplifier. I don't think it is dumb at all. Plus, balanced signals could be done through dual TRS. The headphone world is a tiny blip on the small planet of HiFi. Antelope are a professional oriented company. I have several mates with studios that run Antelope clocks. Their entry into the home has been well executed, but headphones are still not really on their radar.
Unfortunately there is no balanced headphone out section through the dual TRS on any of the Zodiac's. It is simply 2 x SE headphone outs.
what was it again ..the law of diminishing returns ?
Nonetheless i would go for it ahahha if $$ was no issue i mean why the hell not write !
it's not a matter of hearing the difference or not , it's all about enjoying live so if you can tell your brain that this is the thing for you and that it sounds better haahhaha IT WILL 100% guarantee hahah..
my self i like the way it looks kind of a Burson Conductor with a led display hahahah..
The Burson Conductor is more of my price range..if i would indulge my self..
I will certainly read a review about nice looking tech..
Looks like the price is confirmed, it will be available 11/23.
Now I wonder if is really worth the price. As for DSD fans (not my case), probably they don't have much choice.
I'm also looking into this, as DSD isn't a must for me:
Hmm, I read a lot problems with Burson, specially on post-sales (support).
I might buy this puppy next year.
The only problem would be to get/buy DSD files, as I'm not in US and a lot sites only accept order from there, will proxy works for those cases?